Valerie Horton

Numbers down, but visitor spending up on Fraser Coast

INTERNATIONAL spending on the Fraser Coast has increased despite a fall in tourism numbers, new figures from Tourism Research Australia reveal.

Total visitor expenditure on the Fraser Coast rose 13.2 percent to $42.1 million in the year ending March 2018 while total visitor numbers slipped 5.7 per cent to 142,000.

Fraser Coast Tourism and Events general manager Martin Simons said the number of international visitors in the year was within the plus or minus range of surveys carried out during the past three years.

He said the 2018 result was a 2.1 per cent positive on the three-year average.

"The release of the international numbers also confirms that the Fraser Coast received a record 860,000 domestic and international overnight visitors in the year to March," Mr Simons said.

"This total is up 15.3 per cent on the prior year and shows the region has built back from the downturns experienced after the Global Financial Crisis."

Mr Simons said there was also a chance the Fraser Coast's international figures for March could be revised because of data collection issues for the international sector.

"Previous survey results show spend data is closely linked with purpose of travel, but because of problems with international passenger data supplied to TRA by the Department of Home Affairs this year, purpose of travel information has not be included in the March figures," he said.

Nationally, visitor numbers surged 7.5 per cent to 8.3 million while spending jumped 6.7 percent, both record figures.

Queensland also hit new highs with a 5.5 per cent uptake in visitors to 2.7m and a 6.4 per cent hike in spending to $5.5 billion.

Spending and visitation patterns across the State had been mixed, with strong results recorded for Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Conversely with the Fraser Coast, the nearby Southern Great Barrier Reef group was down double digit in spend but up 7% in visitation for the year.